Recently I made a list of rules to live by, which included “seeking out and doing things that scare me”. This post is in the spirit of doing something that scares me.
I used to love performing. I was in musicals and plays all through school and sang in my high school’s select choir. I sang in the car, in the shower, walking down the street, and in school hallways. I never took voice lessons and sang simply because I enjoyed it.
I stopped formal singing when I was in college, choosing instead to join a dance group. I’d always been a better dancer than singer and enjoyed practicing and perfecting choreography much more than I had ever cared about improving my vocal range or remaining precisely on key. Rusty, out of practice, and self-conscious I restricted my singing to parties (it’s easy to hide in a crowd) and driving alone in the car (even with the windows rolled down, who can hear you?).
The last time I sang in public to anyone who was purposely listening was a year ago when I spent a week in Cambodia with the grade 10 students at my school. Doing something you’re not confident about in front of other people is scary. My students had been stepping out of their comfort zones all week and I decided it was time I did the same. It was during that week that my group of advisees, themselves keen and talented singers and musicians, decided to make singing a regular part of our advisory class time, which we worked hard to continue for the rest of the year.
Thinking about my students and committing to my personal code, I took a deep breath and sang again. This time I sang for you, an audience of people I don’t know, whose faces I will likely never see.
Here’s to you.